Our History

The Early Years

The Fylde Coast Cricket Society was formed by a number of Fylde cricket supporters in the early 1970s. The aim of the Society was to contribute to the development of cricket at local level by raising funds to assist with the costs of coaching, cricket equipment and by promoting the sport to the local community. Some thirty years on the Society can say that it has achieved all of the aims and continues to do so to this day.

The first meeting was held at the Savoy Hotel in Blackpool and was attended by some fifty five male guests. The guest speaker was the local Liberal MP of the time who had played cricket in the Cheshire league in his younger days. At the time the Society was "men only" and less well organised than in later times. Indeed, one whole winter programme was missed without a single dinner organised and bank funds reduced to a mere 5. A few of the members held a bring and buy sale to "raise a few quid" and since that time the Society has gone from strength to strength. Ladies were permitted to attend the dinners and then later elected to the committee.

In 1972 the Society had 129 members including for the first time in April of that year, Mr Doug Wilks, who since 1978 had been responsible for arranging the excellent guest speakers who make the monthly Society dinners such a success. His contacts with Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Lancashire County Cricket Club and the ECB brought many of the biggest names in the sport to the Fylde Coast. Prior to 1978 Mr R. B. Moore arranged some excellent speakers including in 1973 Don Wilson from England and Yorkshire, Donald Mosey, the senior producer of Outside Broadcasts for the BBC, Mrs.Rachel Heyhoe Flint, the captain of the English Ladies cricket team and Geoffrey Boycott. In 1974 the names continued to arrive including a young David Lloyd and followed in 1975 by Basil D'Olivera and John Hampshire and in 1977 by England captain David Steele. In 1978 cricket umpiring legend "Dickie" Bird was welcomed to the Fylde and in 1979 Geoff Miller and a return visit by Geoffrey Boycott. 1980 saw Jim Laker, Chris Old and Jim Cumbes and in 1982 Paul Allott and Richard Lumb. In 1985 Dennis Amis was followed in 1986 by Clive Lloyd, in 1987 by Jack Simmons, in 1988 by Arnie Sidebotttom, and in 1989 by Mike Watkinson.

In 1972 the Society started the Junior Player of the Season award that later became the Bert Watt Trophy. The committee selected the Junior player who they considered to have been the best young player of the season to receive the award and he along with his parents were invited to a dinner to recieve the trophy from the guest speaker. Bert Watt had been a member of the Society and a local cricketer who sadly passed away before his time.

Recent Times

The world of cricket changed a great deal during the 1980s and 1990s but the Society continued with the original aims. Speakers who had in the past agreed to speak for nothing other than the cost of expenses were now demanding fees and obtaining top class speakers became more and more difficult. Doug Wilks was undeterred and through his many contacts he kept the calibre of speakers as high as ever bringing the likes of Mike Atherton and Ian Austin to the Fylde.

Sadly, Doug Wilks the Speaker Secretary since 1978 passed away in January 2007 but the other members of the committee plan to continue his excellent work and to keep the Society thriving.

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